“Jasmine Revolution”
Symbol of peace: Flowers placed on the barrel of a tank
in very much calmer protests than in recent days in Tunisia

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011

'The Protester' - Time Person of the Year 2011
Mannoubia Bouazizi, the mother of Tunisian street vendor Mohammed Bouazizi. "Mohammed suffered a lot. He worked hard. but when he set fire to himself, it wasn’t about his scales being confiscated. It was about his dignity." (Peter Hapak for TIME)

1 - TUNISIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)


How eyepatches became a symbol of Egypt's revolution - Graffiti depicting a high ranking army officer with an eye patch Photograph: Nasser Nasser/ASSOCIATED PRESS

2 - EGYPT Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)


''17 February Revolution"

3 - LIBYA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

5 - SYRIA Democratic Change / Freedom of Speech (In Transition)

"25 January Youth Revolution"
Muslim and Christian shoulder-to-shoulder in Tahrir Square
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
(Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)
"The End of History" – Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)
(Subjects:Abraham, Isaac, Ishmael, Muhammad, Jesus, God, Jews, Arabs, EU, US, Israel, Iran, Russia, Africa, South America, Global Unity,..... etc.) (Text version)

"If an Arab and a Jew can look at one another and see the Akashic lineage and see the one family, there is hope. If they can see that their differences no longer require that they kill one another, then there is a beginning of a change in history. And that's what is happening now. All of humanity, no matter what the spiritual belief, has been guilty of falling into the historic trap of separating instead of unifying. Now it's starting to change. There's a shift happening."


“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."



African Union (AU)

African Union (AU)
Heads of governments during the opening session of the African Union summit on January 30, 2015 at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela
Few words can describe Nelson Mandela, so we let him speak for himself. Happy birthday, Madiba.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

South Africa puts year-long ban on leopard hunting

Yahoo – AFP, January 25, 2016

A leopard sneaks out from the bush at the Born Free Foundation on May 12,
2010 in the Shamwari Game Reserve (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

Johannesburg (AFP) - South Africa has imposed a year-long ban on leopard hunting in 2016 in a decision hailed Monday by conservation activists.

"Provincial conservation authorities were informed that leopard hunts should not be authorised in 2016," the Department of Environmental Affairs said, adding that the ban would be reviewed at the end of the year.

The department said it was acting on recommendations from South Africa's Scientific Authority, which had suggested an intervention to ensure the survival of the leopard population.

Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), South Africa can allocate 150 permits each year for the trophy-hunting of leopards destined for export.

The size of South Africa's leopard population remains a mystery.

"We just don't know how leopards are faring in South Africa," said Guy Balme of environmental group Panthera.

"They're secretive, mainly nocturnal, solitary and range over huge areas," he explained.

Conservation groups hailed the year-long ban, saying it was crucial to protecting the species given that the size of the population is unknown.

"Until we know population numbers and carrying capacity we should not hunt them," said Andrew Muir of the Wilderness Foundation.

Kelly Marnewick, carnivore conservation manager at the Environmental Wildlife Trust, added: "It's important to ensure that any wildlife trade we do is sustainable.

"If we can't do that, it's highly problematical. We need a trade ban until we can get to that."

The mismanagement of trophy hunting and the illegal trade in leopard fur are the main threats to South Africa's population of the big cat, according to the government.

Dignitaries from South Africa's Zulu community traditionally wear animal skins for ceremonies, particularly leopard fur.

South Africa earns substantial revenues from selling permits to wealthy foreigners willing to pay thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars to hunt one of the "big five" (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo).

Hunting generates some 6.2 million rand ($375 million/347 million euros) for South Africa every year, according to the environment ministry.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

World Muslim body condemns attacks on Saudi missions in Iran

Yahoo – AFP, January 21, 2016

Secretary General of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Saudi Iyad Ameen
Madani (R) shakes hands with Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi during
an emergency meeting in the Saudi city of Jeddah, on January 21, 2016 (AFP Photo)

Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - A global Muslim body on Thursday condemned the attacks on Saudi missions in Iran earlier this month and denounced Tehran's regional "interference".

Foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, in a statement, said it "condemns the aggressions against the missions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Tehran and Mashhad".

The statement followed an extraordinary meeting requested by Saudi Arabia after protesters in Iran burned Riyadh's embassy in Tehran and a consulate in the second city of Mashhad.

Such "aggressions" contravene international law as well as the OIC charter, said the communique, which member state Iran rejected.

The violence against Riyadh's missions occurred after the kingdom executed dissident Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, a driving force behind anti-government protests.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and some of its allies cut diplomatic ties with Shiite Iran as a result of the violence against its missions.

Nimr was one of four Shiites put to death on January 2 alongside 43 Sunnis. All were convicted of "terrorism".

The 57-member OIC said it "rejects and condemns Iran's inflammatory statements" over the executions, "considering those statements a blatant interference in the internal affairs" of Saudi Arabia.

It also denounced "Iran's interference in the internal affairs of the states of the region and other member states (including Bahrain, Yemen and Syria and Somalia) and its continued support for terrorism".

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi attended the meeting but his country "declared its rejection of the communique," the document said.

It added that Lebanon also "distances itself" from the meeting's final statement.

The OIC calls itself the collective voice of the Muslim world.

Tensions between the leading Sunni and Shiite nations have caused concern around the globe. China, France and Pakistan have all sought a de-escalation.

Iranian protesters set fire to the Saudi Embassy in Tehran during a demonstration 
against the execution of prominent Shiite Muslim cleric Nimr al-Nimr by Saudi 
authorities, on January 2, 2016 (AFP Photo/Mohammadreza Nadimi)

'Continuous attacks'

At the start of Thursday's meeting, OIC Secretary General Iyad Madani called for "building bridges of understanding and restoring mutual trust" through dialogue.

This will prevent conflicts "that will waste energy and hinder the development of our people," he said.

Tensions between members "distract us from addressing the real challenges", including "terrorism", which threaten members of the organisation, Madani told the group based in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.

The final communique underscored the "importance of reinforcing relations of good neighbourliness" among members.

Iran sacked a senior security official over his failure to stop the attack on Riyadh's embassy, while Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said the attack was against Islam.

But Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir charged at Thursday's meeting that Iran respects neither Islam nor the charter of the OIC.

"The importance of this meeting is in the fact that this aggression is not the first but only a part of a series of continuous attacks that diplomatic missions have been subjected to in Iran for 35 years," Jubeir said.

"It is important to point out that the aggression against the kingdom's missions comes as part of Iran's aggressive policies and its continuous interference in the internal issues of the countries in the region".

Saudi Arabia and Iran support opposite sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen. Iran has also consolidated its influence in Iraq and Lebanon.

Riyadh had also called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League after the attack on its missions.

The Cairo-based body on January 10 expressed full support for Saudi Arabia in dealing with the "hostile acts and provocations of Iran".

Thursday, January 14, 2016

WHO declares Ebola outbreak over

Yahoo – AFP, Zoom Dosso, January 14, 2016

The worst Ebola outbreak ravaged west Africa over two years, infecting -- by the
most conservative estimates -- almost 29,000 people and killing more than
11,000 (AFP Photo/Kenzo Tribouillard)

Monrovia (AFP) - The world breathed a sigh of relief Thursday as a two-year Ebola epidemic that killed 11,000 and triggered a global health alert was declared over, with Liberia the last country given the all-clear.

The deadliest outbreak in the history of the feared tropical virus wrecked the economies and health systems of the three worst-hit west African nations after it emerged in southern Guinea in December 2013.

At its peak, it devastated Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with bodies piling up in the streets and overwhelmed hospitals recording hundreds of new cases a week.

Rick Brennan, the World Health Organization's chief of emergency risk management, hailed an important milestone but told reporters in Geneva that "the job is still not done", pointing out that there had already been 10 small flare-ups because of the persistance of the virus in survivors.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned the region can expect sporadic cases in the coming year but added "we also expect the potential and frequency of those flare-ups to decrease over time".

Reaction to the announcement was muted in Monrovia, where locals have become accustomed to good news on Ebola being followed by setbacks, and there was no official programme of celebration.

Aminata Kanneh, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, told AFP people were "no longer afraid" because recent flare-ups were dealt with quickly.

"The pronouncement today is a joy but does not call for celebration because we may experience another outbreak," she said.

Map locating coun tries caught up in the Ebola epidemic and a comparison with
recent outbreaks. 135 x 84mm (AFP Photo/I. de Véricourt/A.Bommenel, K Tian)

No celebration

Liberia, the country worst hit by the outbreak with 4,800 deaths, discharged its last two patients from hospital -- the father and younger brother of a 15-year-old victim -- on December 3, 2015.

Africa's oldest republic was the last country still afflicted by the outbreak that infected almost 29,000 people and claimed 11,315 lives, according to official data.

The real toll is suspected to be much higher, with many Ebola deaths believed to have gone unreported.

After the last patient is declared in the clear, a 42-day countdown -- twice the incubation period of the virus -- begins before the country is proclaimed Ebola-free.

Ebola causes severe fever and muscle pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea. In many cases it shuts down organs and causes unstoppable internal bleeding. Patients often succumb within days.

From a Guinean infant who was the first victim, the epidemic quickly spread into neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, notching up more deaths than all other Ebola outbreaks combined.

Liberia was first to be declared free of human-to-human Ebola transmission in May, only to see the virus resurface six weeks later.

It was officially credited with beating the epidemic for a second time in September before another small cluster of cases emerged.

Health workers assist a patient suspected of having Ebola on their way to a
 treatment centre run by the French Red Cross in Patrice, Guinea, on 
November 21, 2014 (AFP Photo/Kenzo Tribouillard)

Economic ruin

The WHO came under fire for its sluggish response to the epidemic, which local healthcare systems were woefully underequipped to handle. Over 500 healthcare workers died in three west African countries at the height of the outbreak.

Brennan acknowledged the WHO's initial inertia but said the organisation had "done a lot of soul-searching", pointing to a "major reform" it is undergoing.

While Cuba sent doctors, Western governments offered little until foreign aid workers started falling ill and returning home for treatment, sparking fears of a global pandemic.

The concerns inched higher when three cases of infections came to light outside Africa -- two in the United States and one in Spain.

The US, Britain and other countries eventually rallied to the cause, sending thousands of troops and medics to Africa in 2014 and developing a number of promising potential vaccines and treatments.

But the economic ravages of the epidemic are still being felt.

The World Bank estimates the economic damage of the outbreak, which devastated the mining, agriculture and tourism industries in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, at $2.2 billion over 2014-15.

WHO director Margaret Chan described the next three months as "the most critical," as foreign medical groups shut down operations in west Africa and national health ministries take over.

The scientific community echoed the WHO's cautious tone, noting that much research still had to be carried out on Ebola, despite claims by Russia on Wednesday, with little accompanying detail, that it had come up with a vaccine.

Related Article:


“ .. The Role of Gaia in Human Consciousness

One of those times might be frightening for you to know about, since it was a full cooperation with Gaia for your termination, and a pandemic almost wiped humanity off the map. A pandemic! Now, you say, "What has that got to do with Human consciousness, Kryon?" Pay attention, dear ones, because this is the day where the teaching was given by my partner, and he put together the Nine Human Attributes. One of the attribute sets included three Gaia attributes and one of them was the consciousness of the planet. Gaia is related to Human consciousness!

Are you starting to connect the dots? You are connected to this planet in a profound and spiritual way. As goes humanity goes the planet's consciousness. Gaia, Mother Nature, whatever you want to call it, cooperates with Human consciousness. If you spend 1,000 years killing each other, then Gaia will do its best to cooperate with your desires! Gaia will look at Human consciousness and try to help with what you have shown you like to do! Did you know this role of Gaia with you? It's a partner with you, fast tracking what you give to it. You may wish to review what the indigenous of the planet still understand. Gaia is a partner!

Pandemic: Don't you find it odd that in the last 50 years, when you have a population of seven billion Human Beings, with up to 2,000 airplanes in the air at any given moment, going between almost every conceivable place, that there has not been a pandemic in your lifetime? There have been five starts of potential pandemics over the last 20 years, yet none became serious. Did any of you put this together? Dear ones, when the world was far less populated a few hundred years ago, with no mass travel to spread a virus, there were still millions wiped out by a pandemic. With the increased population and mass travel, there is far more danger today than before. It doesn't make sense, does it? What happened to stop it?

When you know humanity's relationship to Gaia, it makes sense. Gaia is a life-force that is your partner, watching you change the balance of light and dark and reflecting what Humans want. It has polarity, too! Perhaps it's time to start your meditations with thanking your planet Earth for supporting you in the spirituality of your Akash, for always being with you, a life-force that is always present. The ancients started their ceremonies in that way. Have you forgotten?

Ebola

Now, I've just set the stage for the next subject, haven't I? Ebola. Are you afraid yet? Gaia is a life-force that is a part of Human consciousness. My partner put it on the screen today so you could see the connections [during the lecture series]. Now it's time to connect the dots. Dear one, Gaia is in the battle, too, for here comes something scary that you haven't had in your lifetime and you're afraid of it - the potential of a pandemic on the planet.

There's a very famous film that has some dialogue that my partner will quote. Some of you will know it and some of you won't, but here it is: "Have a little fire, scarecrow?" What are you afraid of? Darkness? Gaia is in the battle with you and is actively pursuing solutions through light. The energy of the planet is with you in this fight! The ebola virus is a shock and a surprise. It is propelled by ignorance and fear, so it can flourish. Look at where it started and look at how it gets its ability to continue. It expands its fear and power easily with those who believe it's a curse instead of those who understand the science.

Villages are filled with those who refuse to leave their family members because they believe the disease is a curse! FEAR! Instead of understanding that they should be in isolation from the virus, the family dies together through ignorance and fear. This represents how darkness works. Are you going to become afraid also? Dear ones, ebola will be conquered. Know this and be at peace. Pray for light for those in the villages who are afraid, that they can know more about how to keep the spread of this disease and live to see their families. .”

Sunday, January 10, 2016

MSF: Rocket strike on clinic in Yemen kills four

A clinic operated by international medical group Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in northern Yemen has been hit by a rocket, with four people killed, the group says. It says it does not know who fired the missile.

Deutsche Welle, 10 January 2016


The missile hit the clinic in the Razeh district of Saada province in northern Yemen, communications officer Malak Shaher said on Sunday.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also announced the attack on its Twitter account.


Shaher said it was not possible to say whether the clinic was hit in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition that is carrying out attacks on Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, or by a rocket fired from the ground.

Last month, MSF accused the coalition of bombing another of its health facilities in Taez in October. The building was wrecked and two MSF staff members lightly wounded in that attack.

The coalition said at the time that it would investigate the claim.

After Sunday's attack, MSF called on all warring parties in Yemen to respect medical facilities.


Bloody conflict

More than 5,800 people have been killed in Yemen since March, about half of them civilians, according to United Nations figures.

Saada province is a frequent
target of Saudi-led airstrikes
The conflict in the country pits forces loyal to internationally recognized President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi against the Houthi rebels and fighters loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The fighting has its roots in a Houthi insurgency that has been waged with varying intensity since 2004.

In 2015, Saudi Arabia formed a coalition of nine Arab states to help the internationally recognized Yemeni government by launching airstrikes on its enemies including the Houthi rebels, whom Riyadh sees as proxies for its regional rival, Iran. The campaign has been widely criticized for worsening the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Two Guantanamo detainees transferred to Ghana: Pentagon

Yahoo – AFP, January 6, 2016

Razor wire-topped fence and a watch tower at the abandoned "Camp X-Ray"
detention facility at the US Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on April 9,
2014 (AFP Photo/Mladen Antonov)

Washington (AFP) - Two Guantanamo Bay detainees have been transferred from the US military prison to Ghana, the Pentagon said Wednesday, bringing the controversial facility's remaining population down to 105.

Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, both from Yemen, are the first detainees to be sent anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, Pentagon spokesman Commander Gary Ross told AFP.

The men had been recommended for transfer as early as January 2010, according to their leaked case files published by The New York Times. But bureaucratic hurdles and Yemen's collapse into civil war meant the men could not be sent home.

The duo will be monitored and the Pentagon is confident they do not pose a threat, Ross said. They arrived in Ghana earlier Wednesday.

"There are security assurances that have been agreed on," Ross said, without giving details.

"The United States is grateful to the government of Ghana for its humanitarian gesture and willingness to support ongoing US efforts to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility," the Pentagon said in a statement.

According to his leaked file, Dhuby had lived his entire life in Saudi Arabia but claimed Yemeni citizenship. He was a "probable" member of Al-Qaeda and allegedly received militant training in Afghanistan.

His file also states he "probably" engaged in hostile activities against coalition forces.

Atef's file states he was an admitted member of the Taliban and fought under Osama bin Laden's 55th Arab Brigade. He allegedly participated in hostile actions against US and coalition forces in Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama pledged to shut Guantanamo -- reviled by critics as a stain on America's moral character that has helped fuel anti-US jihadist propaganda -- when he took office in 2009, but his efforts have failed and time is quickly ticking down on his presidency.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter last month approved the transfer of 17 low-risk detainees from Guantanamo; Atef and Dhuby come from that group.

Since 2002, a total of 779 detainees have been held at Guantanamo in connection with America's "war on terror."

Guantanamo Bay sits on the southeastern tip of Cuba but is completely fenced off from the communist island.

Inmates are kept without recourse to regular US legal processes and some likely will die in prison without ever being convicted of a crime.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Somalia housing boom as Mogadishu emerges from ashes of war

Yahoo – AFP, January 3, 2016

New housing estates are being built amid an economic boom as diaspora
Somalis return and newly wealthy businessmen capitalise on the relative
peace in Mogadishu (AFP Photo/Mohamed Abdiwahab)

Mogadishu (AFP) - Somalia's elegant colonial villas were left in ruins by two decades of street fighting among warlords, and the seaside capital Mogadishu was dubbed the most dangerous city in the world.

But now new housing estates are being built amid an economic boom as diaspora Somalis return and newly wealthy businessmen capitalise on the relative peace in the city.

Some seven kilometres (four miles) outside Mogadishu in a formerly largely rural area, new homes are springing up, with almost 50 houses now ready on an estate, builders say.

Those returning to Somalia -- including
 investors wanting to start new business 
in the their homeland -- say the Daru 
Salaam estate offers them a more secure
 place to live (AFP Photo/Mohamed 
Abdiwahab)
Mohamed Abdullahi Ali, from Salaam Somali Bank, said it was a "great honour" to back the estimated $20 million (18 million euro) project.

Construction began in early 2015 and the project was touted as offering commercial returns and helping rebuild the nation.

"It is a new neighbourhood for all Somalis to buy affordable homes, by leaving the densely populated neighbourhoods of Mogadishu, and to come and stay with families here," Ali said.

"According to our plan, we are going to build 500 homes that can cover the residential needs for 500 families in the first stage, and then will construct more houses."

Different vision of Mogadishu

Tens of thousands forced to flee their homes still live in plastic and rag shelters in the capital, sometimes in the ruins of war-shattered buildings, and more than a million people are still in need of emergency aid in a country ravaged by famine in 2011, the United Nations says.

Car bombs and assassinations are still common, and a 22,000-strong African Union force fights alongside the army to protect the internationally-backed government from attacks by the Islamist Shebab insurgents.

The streets in the new estate offer a very different vision of Mogadishu.

Those returning to Somalia -- including investors wanting to start new business in the their homeland -- say the Daru Salaam estate offers them a more secure place to live.

Somali security forces arrive to the site
 of a bomb blast near Makka al-Mukarama 
Road in the Somali capital Mogadishu 
on December 19, 2015 (AFP Photo/
Mohamed Abdiwahab)
"I came back to this city to buy a new home in Daru Salaam neighbourhood... the houses are well built," said Abdiqadar Jimale Roble, 34, who grew up in Sweden from the age of 12 after Somalia spiralled into civil war in the early 1990s.

"I have been out of Somalia for long time but I came back because everybody needs his country -- and the country is making much progress," Roble added.

"I had to take part in that progress, and everybody should have a house in his country."

For those returning with dollars earned abroad, the estate reflects the possible profits to be made even in a still dangerous country.

'Humanitarian needs remain vast'

Sadia Sheikh Ahmed, who also grew up in Sweden after fleeing Somalia, said she had helped her relatives abroad snap up property.

"Initially we wanted to buy two houses, but now we and our relatives have bought eight homes, scheduled to be completed soon," she said.

A two-storey house can cost some $130,000, while a more simple bungalow comes in at around $70,000.

Those are hefty sums in one of the poorest countries in the world, with a gross domestic product per capita of just $284, according to the World Bank, against a sub-Saharan Africa average of $1,300.

Development indicators are "among the lowest in the world", the World Bank says, noting the Horn of Africa nation is "heavily dependent" on aid and remittances.

Migrants from Somalia stand behind a
 fence outside a temporary housing facility
 for migrants located in a former Olympic 
hall in Faliro suburb of Athens, on 
December 13, 2015 (AFP Photo/Angelos 
Tzortzinis)
Over 308,000 children are acutely malnourished, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

"After more than two decades of violence and political instability, Somalia is on a positive trajectory," OCHA said, while warning the "promising trend" takes place amid a "precarious" humanitarian and security situation.

"Humanitarian needs remain vast and Somalia's humanitarian crisis remains among the largest and most complex in the world," OCHA added.

But the estate is symbolic of the possible changes in Mogadishu.

"The security here is very good and there have been no problems," said Fuad Ahmed Warsame, marketing director of Daru Salaam Real Estate, which is building the new neighbourhood -- meaning "house of peace."

The company is headquartered in central Mogadishu's famous Bakara Market, the city's commercial heart, once infamous as the 1993 battle when fighters shot down two American Black Hawk helicopters. The bullet scars there have long been covered up with business booming.

Saudi Arabia executes top Shiite cleric

Yahoo – AFP, January 2, 2016

Saudi Shiite women hold placards bearing portraits of prominent Shiite Muslim
 cleric Nimr al-Nimr during a protest in the eastern coastal city of Qatif against
his execution by Saudi authorities, on January 2, 2016 (AFP Photo)

Riyadh (AFP) - Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia executed Saturday a prominent Shiite cleric, who had been behind anti-government protests, drawing angry condemnation from Shiite-majority Iran and Iraq.

Nimr al-Nimr was executed along with 46 other men, including Shiite activists and Sunnis accused of involvement in Al-Qaeda killings, the interior ministry said.

Nimr al-Nimr was executed this morning
 along with 46 other people convicted by
Saudi Arabia of "terrorism" (AFP Photo)
It prompted calls for demonstrations, but the brother of the 56-year-old cleric called for calm in oil-rich Eastern Province where Shiites complain of marginalisation.

"This action will spark anger of (Shiite) youths" in Saudi Arabia, but "we reject violence and clashing with authorities", said Mohammed al-Nimr.

The interior ministry said the 47 men had been convicted of adopting the radical "takfiri" ideology, joining "terrorist organisations" and implementing various "criminal plots".

A list published by the official SPA news agency included Sunnis convicted of involvement in Al-Qaeda attacks that killed Saudis and foreigners in 2003 and 2004.

Some of them had been convicted of taking part in May 2003 attacks on expatriate compounds in Riyadh that killed 35 people, nine of them Americans, the ministry said.

Others were involved in attacks the following year on a housing complex in the eastern city of Khobar, in which 22 people were killed, most of them foreigners, and other assaults.

Among them was Fares al-Shuwail, described by Saudi media as Al-Qaeda's top religious leader in the kingdom.

Notably absent from the list, was Nimr's nephew, Ali. He was arrested at the age of 17 and allegedly tortured during detention before being sentenced to die, sparking fury from rights watchdogs and the United States.

All those executed were Saudis, except for an Egyptian and a Chadian.

Some were beheaded with a sword while others were shot by firing squad, said ministry spokesman Mansur al-Turki.

Executions have soared in the country since King Salman ascended the throne last January, with 153 people put to death in 2015, nearly twice as many as in 2014.

'Oppression and execution'

Saturday's executions were condemned by Iran and Iraq as well as the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, and drew protest calls.

"The Saudi government supports terrorist movements and extremists, but confronts domestic critics with oppression and execution," said Hossein Jaber Ansari, spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry.

It will "pay a high price for following these policies," the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

Turki described Iran's reaction as "irresponsible".

"We are completely confident with what we're doing and we believe in it and do not care how others view our procedures, whether on justice or implementation of sentences," he said.

Tehran ally Hezbollah said Saudi Arabia's rulers are "global criminals" and denounced Nimr's execution as a "heinous crime".

Saudi justice ministry spokesman Mansur al-Qafari said "interference in the kingdom's judiciary is unacceptable".

Rights groups have repeatedly raised concern about the fairness of trials in Saudi Arabia, where murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Bahraini girls run for cover from tear gas in Jidhafs, west of Manama, on 
\January 2, 2015 following a protest against the execution of Nimr al-Nimr
by Saudi authorities (AFP Photo/Mohammed al-Shaikh)

Trial standards 'grossly flouted'

Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther told AFP the kingdom was using "the guise of counter-terrorism" to clamp down on dissent.

The trials "were politicised on the one hand and grossly unfair, because the international standards for fair trial were grossly flouted."

Iran's Basij student militia, connected to the country's elite Revolutionary Guards, called for a demonstration Sunday outside the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

In Saudi ally Bahrain, police used tear gas to disperse dozens of youths from the majority Shiite population protesting the executions.

And prominent Iraqi Shiite lawmaker Khalaf Abdelsamad called for the closure of Riyadh's embassy and urged the government to expel its ambassador.

"The execution of Sheikh al-Nimr will have serious consequences and bring about the end of the Al-Saud (royal family's) rule," his office said.

In Yemen, where the kingdom is leading a coalition against Shiite rebels, the religious scholars association controlled by them condemned the execution.


Related Articles:

Statement of the HR/VP Federica Mogherini on the executions in Saudi Arabia


"The Dysfunction of Darkness" - Nov 14, 2015 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Paris/ISIS/Dark-Old Energy/USA+Warning for Governments around the World !!!) (Text version) New

“…  The Dark Menace is Here

I have been giving you messages of the recalibration of dark and light for years:

"Civilization itself is at stake within this movement, and you've passed the marker - an alignment that many said would never happen. This is the fifth time you've been through this opportunity and now, dear ones, you're headed for the potential of peace on Earth. Twenty-three years ago, we told you this could happen and that the potentials were strong for it. Now, all that is around you is struggling with it, for the shift is here. I'll say this over and over: The old energy of darkness dies hard, screaming and struggling to keep what it has had, and it struggles with its own demise. So that is the energy we speak of now, and the subject is the Human consciousness balance between dark and light."

Kryon, Feb 2012, San Antonio, TX (*)

Over a year ago, I also gave you predictions that the coming change will be different from anything you have ever expected. (**) There is darkness that has come together on this planet, and we told you it would increase. It is a response to the light that you have turned on. It is fighting for its own life within the old energy. A consciousness of darkness has always prevailed on the planet. Corruption and greed, and uncaring death, have always been the way of an older Human nature. Suddenly, in this precession of the equinoxes, the prophecies are starting to come true. The end of the indigenous calendars predicted it, and it's here.

The metaphor is clear. Light is starting to be turned on. That is a metaphor for increased awareness - of everything! We told you many years ago that, "When everyone can talk to everyone, there can be no secrets." This was given before the Internet, and now you know what we speak of. This technology is actually a tool for you to fight the darkness. I will show you in a moment. What I give you in this channel may seem impossible. Let me start at the beginning.  …”



“..  The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification

Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.

I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... "



An Amnesty International activist holds a picture of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi
during a protest against his flogging punishment on January 29, 2015 in front of
Saudi Arabia's embassy to Germany in Berlin. The 30-year-old Saudi has been
 sentenced to 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam and is serving a 10-year jail term - a
case which has drawn widespread international criticism. (AFP Photo/Tobias Schwarz)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Guinea Ebola outbreak over, WHO declares

Yahoo – AFPMouctar Bah with Ben Simon in Geneva, December 29, 2015

A health official works at the Ebola treatment centre run by the French red cross
society in Macenta, Guinea on November 20, 2014 (AFP Photo/Kenzo Tribouillard)

Conakry (AFP) - The UN's health agency on Tuesday declared Guinea's Ebola outbreak over two years after it emerged, spreading death across west Africa and pushing the region's worst-hit communities to the brink of collapse.

One of the poorest nations in the world, the former French colony was the host for "patient zero" -- an infant who became the first victim -- and health authorities went on to record some 2,500 deaths.

"The epidemic of Ebola virus disease in Guinea is over," Mohamed Belhoucine, the World Health Organization's local representative, announced in the capital Conakry.

The fever spread stealthily and terrifyingly from December 2013, striking two neighbouring countries, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with sporadic cases also in Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.

People gather for a concert to celebrate 
Guinea reaching the final stages of the
 battle with the Ebola epidemic on 
September 26, 2015 in Conakry 
(AFP Photo/Cellou Binani)
As world health watchdogs struggled to respond, deaths mounted at a dizzying rate, igniting fears in Europe and elsewhere of a virus that transgressed borders and national controls.

Around 11,300 people died out of almost 29,000 recorded cases, according to a WHO tally that many experts believe greatly understates the real impact of the outbreak.

Paying tribute to Guineans for "standing their ground and fighting with courage", Belhoucine also acknowledged the international community's help in battling the outbreak.

"At the peak of the epidemic... the country recorded hundreds of cases per week. The social fabric was severely tested," he said.

The last known case in Guinea was a three-month-old named Nubia, who was born with the disease but whose recovery was confirmed on November 16.

That triggered the countdown to the announcement, as a period of 42 days -- twice the virus's maximum incubation period -- is required to declare a country free of transmission.

'Au revoir, Ebola'

The WHO declared Sierra Leone' epidemic over on November 7, while Liberia discharged its last known Ebola cases on December 3.

President Alpha Conde is expected at an celebration in Conakry on Wednesday, flanked by representatives from donor countries and dozens of organisations involved in the recovery, from Doctors without Borders to the Red Cross.

Guests will pay tribute to the 115 health workers who died fighting Ebola and eight members of an Ebola awareness team killed by hostile locals in Guinea's forested southeast.

A range of top African musicians, including Youssou N'Dour and Mory Kante, will take to the stage for a "memorial" concert -- entitled "Bye-bye, au revoir Ebola" in the francophone country.

Amid the jubilation and hope for a return to normality, experts have sounded a note of caution, as the virus has been shown to persist in the sperm and other body fluids of survivors significantly longer than previously thought.

Shattered economies

Liberia was declared free of human-to-human transmission in May and again in September, but both times the fever resurfaced in small clusters.

"We have to be very careful because, even if open transmission has been stopped, the disease has not been totally defeated," said Alpha Seny Souhmah, a Guinean health technician and Ebola survivor.

The WHO said in a statement from Geneva that Guinea had entered a 90-day period of "heightened surveillance" to ensure any new cases are identified quickly before they could spread.

Guineans battling Ebola have been faced with huge obstacles, not least the country's grinding poverty and a crumbling medical infrastructure.

Frontline workers have also had to combat the rumour mill, entrenched denial, fear of Ebola stigma and resistance to confinement measures deemed authoritarian or unreasonable.

They also had to persuade people to abandon funeral traditions whereby mourners touch the body of their loved one -- a potent pathway to infection.

The epidemic devastated the economies of the worst-hit countries, as crops rotted in the fields, mines were abandoned and goods could not get to market.

Strong recent growth has been curtailed in Guinea and while Liberia has resumed growth, Sierra Leone is facing a severe recession, according to the World Bank, which has mobilised $1.62 billion for Ebola response and recovery efforts.

The bank's group president Jim Yong Kim called for continued support for Guinea and its neighbours, vowing to "do everything we can to help these countries and the world prevent another deadly pandemic".